Paris 2024 Olympic Bid Kicks Off “Tour of France” To Start Final Campaign Year

Paris 2024 co-Chair Tony Estanguet with French Olympic sprinter from Seoul 1988, Nathalie Simon (Paris 2024)

Paris 2024 co-Chair Tony Estanguet with French Olympic sprinter from Seoul 1988, Nathalie Simon (Paris 2024)

The Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid will tour the Olympic project across France in an effort to build support and excitement on the “Road to Lima” where one year from Tuesday the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will decide which city will host the Games.

The tour of bid leaders to eight major cities across the country began in Marseille Tuesday where bid co-chair Tony Estanguet along with athletes and school children competed in a 2024m fun run that started at the Corniche – the city’s the picturesque seaside roadway – and traveled past the 2024 Sailing venue to Borely Park, before finishing at the Stade Velodrome.

In each visited city, local representatives and children will be engaged and bid leaders will collect feedback to further the Olympic project.

Olympic Champion Estanguet said “we are delighted to mark one year to go to Lima and begin our Tour of France here in Marseille – a fantastic sports city which will play a big role in a Paris 2024 Games.”

“We are proposing a bid for all of France and nationwide support is very important to us – we are looking forward harnessing this opportunity to visit many regions in France to promote the unique vision of the bid, engage with the public and build on the strong support.

“This is the beginning of an exciting new phase for the bid.”

To support the tour, and the remaining 365 days of the bid, Paris 2024 has launched a new social media campaign marked with the hashtag #GagnonsEnsemble – meaning “together to win.”

Supporters are encouraged to share a photo of themselves showing a hand gesture that consists of their two hands together at the knuckles with the forefingers raised, touching, and forming a point to resemble the Paris 2024 logo – which is also an allusion to the Eiffel Tower.

Olympians, Paralympians and the general public took to social media on Tuesday embracing the new campaign and showing #GagnoneEnsemble photos.  French footballer Kévin Gameiro and Olympic medalist synchronized swimmer Virginie Dedieu were quick to join with their own photos – along with many other athletes.

French President François Hollande speaks a Rio 2016 Olympic Games (GamesBids Photo)

French President François Hollande (GamesBids Photo)

Building domestic support is crucial at this stage of any bid campaign as stakeholders start to take a harder look at their choices for 2024.  Early next year the international stage of the campaign kicks in when bids begin to look across borders and are permitted to campaign internationally.

In the year ahead Paris officials will have to build a dialogue to deal with questions around the rise of terrorism in France and across Europe, and they may have to react to a French Presidential election that will likely result in a change of national leadership, potentially drawing federal support of the bid into question.  President Hollande, who will not likely win another term, has been a strong supporter of Paris 2024.

Paris is in the running with Los Angeles, Budapest and Rome with the race set to be decided next September 13.

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-winning journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil